Dealing with Anger from the Elderly Parent
Anger and Resentment in an Elderly Parent
I have 3 sisters - two close by who have stated they do not want to help take care of our elderly father and one in another state who uses the excuse she is too far away to help. I am okay with their decision not to help. Everyone has to make this choice for themselves. I do not hold resentment towards any of them for this. I do hold resentment that they will not call or visit on a weekly basis. One never visits, the other visits maybe once a month for 15-30 minutes and the one out of state calls once a month with excuses that she means to call more often just never gets around to it.
When my father asked me to help him four years ago I willingly agreed to do what I could for him. He does not hear well nor see well. He has had colon cancer and recovered and bladder cancer and recovered although his bladder was removed. He is 84 years old and 3 years ago he almost went into a diabetic coma in his sleep. This affected his short term memory. He was sharp as a tack until this happened.
When he came home from rehab he was not himself and wanted to get rid of all his tools. I knew he could not use the tools but did not want him to give them away to strangers because I knew them meant a whole lot to him. So when he tried to give them to my husband (who did not want to take them) I told him to take them - at least I could keep them until he recovered enough and wanted them back. Four months after taking them my father started showing anger fits because he did not have his tools. I tried several times to bring them back but he refused to allow me to do that. Then he started with bursts of anger because he claimed my husband stole his tools. At that point we brought everything back to his house without telling him we were doing it. The problem was he started missing tools that we did not have. Now it has been 3 years and his anger that my husband stole his saw and miter saw is getting out of hand. We brought back the saw and miter saw he
had but in my fathers mind they are not the ones he thinks he "lent to my husband" and now he is accusing him of stealing them. The anger fits come on real quick and last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes then he calms down. The problem is that there is no reasoning with him. I have tried to tell him we would buy him a new saw but he will not hear of it. It appears that he wants to rant about this but does not want a solution. He has threatened to call the police which I have told him to go ahead and do. He has threatened to shoot my husband if he comes to his house again. Note: my husband has not been to his house in 3 years because of this except back in March when I was injured bed ridden for 3 weeks.
My Dad lost his power in a snow storm and I took him some food but fell on the ice going to work and was injured. I had no one who could do his meds (which can only be done on a daily basis so he does not take too many) or get food to him except my husband. But this created a disaster with my father because he did not want him there.
Once I was up again I took over his care. He lives alone and I am there 3 times a day. His niece lives next door and his sister lives a couple doors up the street. They keep an eye on him for any trouble but do not help with his care. I am okay with this. I just wish I knew how to handle his anger fits to me regarding my husband.
Yesterday was the worst one yet. I really thought he was going to have a stroke. I remained calm and because I would not fight back with him, it seem to make him madder.
I don't mind doing anything for him he needs but don't know how to handle his anger. I informed his doctor about all of this. He thinks that my father is very unhappy with his life, especially losing his eyesight and not being able to drive anymore, but does not want to admit it.
I am the scape goat for his anger but how do I handle it? Wish I had help in understanding this.